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Female Genital Mutilation

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account her Department takes of the risk of female genital mutilation in women’s country of origin when assessing their asylum claims. (276648)

All asylum and human rights claims are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with the UK’s obligations under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The consideration of a claim includes where relevant, any fear of genital mutilation that may be raised by the applicant.

When fear of genital mutilation forms part of the claim, consideration is given to whether there is evidence that this practice is knowingly tolerated by the authorities in the country of origin, or whether they are unable to offer protection, and whether there is a reasonable possibility of the applicant avoiding the threat for example by moving elsewhere in the country.